Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kashmiris Remain Defiant on 63rd Anniversasry of Indian Military Occupation

Srinagar is completely shut down today as Kashmiris continue to protest on the 63rd anniversary of India's brutal military occupation. As the occupation enters its 64th year today, India continues to deploy over half a million troops who have killed hundreds of thousand of unarmed innocent civilians demanding freedom from Indian rule.

At least 110 people have been killed and thousands injured by Indian military and police since June in the latest series of entirely grass-roots and homegrown protests leading up to yet another anniversary. A protest march was fired upon today by the Indian forces that reportedly hurt five protesters who broke the ongoing punitive curfews in the valley.



"India is not scared of the guns here in Kashmir -- it has a thousand times more guns. What it is scared of is people coming out in the streets, people seeing the power of nonviolent struggle," says Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the senior leader of the moderate wing of Kashmir's main separatist alliance, Hurriyat, and a key organizer of the current civil disobedience campaign that began in 2008, filling the air with chants of azadi. The number of armed attacks in the valley, meanwhile, has dropped to its lowest since the insurgency began in 1989, according to Indian officials.

How has India responded to the the peaceful movement for freedom in Kashmir? Not recognizing the reality of change on the ground, the Indian government has attempted to demonize the struggle as LeT led terrorism. Beyond that, it has continued to use lethal force against unarmed, peaceful civilian protesters on the streets of Kashmir. Wall Street Journal reported the situation in Kashmir in late 2009 as follows: Indian troops often resorted to lethal force, killing more than 50 Kashmiri civilians. Scores of protesters and separatist politicians have been thrown behind bars or placed under house arrest. Indian officials say these detentions are necessary to preserve public peace, and that the troops have to use force to maintain law and order. Some half a million Indian soldiers and policemen remain deployed in the Indian-administered part of Jammu and Kashmir, home to 10 million people. (About 5 million people live in Pakistani-held Kashmir.) Indian laws grant troops in Kashmir almost total immunity from prosecution, including in cases of civilian deaths. Srinagar, once India's prime tourist destination, is dotted by checkpoints, its indoor stadium, cinemas and hotels surrounded by sandbags and converted into military camps. Broadcast media are censored....As Kashmir descended into chaos after these killings of innocent civilian demonstrators, India responded with increasingly severe curfews and lockdowns that continue. Often they come without prior warning or formal announcement, as in Srinagar over the past weekend.

Now it's not just the Kashmiri civilians who are being muzzled and killed by Delhi. The Indian government has recently turned its attention to Indian rights activists like Ms. Arundhati Roy who is now being threatened with arrest for speaking out on behalf of the oppressed Kashmiris. In response to a question put to her by The Guardian, Ms. Roy said: "I spoke about justice for the people of Kashmir who live under one of the most brutal military occupations in the world; for Kashmiri Pandits who live out the tragedy of having been driven out of their homeland; for Dalit soldiers killed in Kashmir whose graves I visited on garbage heaps in their villages in Cuddalore; for the Indian poor who pay the price of this occupation in material ways and who are now learning to live in the terror of what is becoming a police state."

Even as Ms. Roy expressed support for Kashmiris' inalienable right to self-determination, she told Kashmiris that she was "hurt" by one particular anti-India slogan ringing in the valley: "Nanga Bhooka Hindustan, Jaan Se Pyara Pakistan". It is understandable that, as a patriotic Indian, she found it offensive.

As a potential nuclear flashpoint between India and Pakistan, Kashmir remains among the most dangerous unresolved international disputes in the world. To a large context, other issues in the region such as the situation in Afghanistan are linked to India-Pakistan rivalry rooted in Kashmir. It is therefore very important for world leaders to learn about it, pay attention to it and help resolve it.

Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy, a prominent Pakistani peace activist and professor and Islamabad's Quaid-e-Azam University, has produced a video on Kashmir which makes the following points.

1. Nationalist and religious fervor has been on the rise in both India and Pakistan with Kashmir as the flash point

2. Diverse people of Kashmir are trapped in the middle.

3. Over 100,000 Kasmiris have died, many have sought refuge in Pakistan, with Hindu pandits seeking refuge in India.

4. Hindu pandits are a privileged class in Kashmir. A 1990 study showed that 86% of senior government jobs are held by pandits.

5. Kashmiri Muslims are mostly impoverished.

6. Resentment against pandit domination has boiled over, with tragic consequences for Kashmiri pandits, some of whom have been killed or driven out of their homes.

7. Both Kashmiri Muslims and Hindu pandits have been massacred by extremists on both sides.

8. All elections in Kashmir have been heavily rigged by Indian government.

9. Indian police, paramilitary and armed forces supporting Kashmir government are seen as an occupation force by almost all Kashmiri Muslims who are demanding "azadi".

10. Indian forces have continued to use overwhelming and lethal force against Kashmiri civilians.

11. Pakistan intervened in Kashmir in 1990s, and armed and trained Afghan Jihadis to fight in Kashmir, and encouraged Pakistanis to join the Kashmir Jihad against India.

12. Many Kashmiri pandits want India to invade and destroy Pakistan.

13. Extremists like VHP leader Praveen Togadia have jumped in, they want India to conquer Pakistan.

14. India's right-wing parties have flourished, as Kashmir has continued to be troubled.

15. BJP has changed the history books and the entire school curriculum to minimize or remove Islamic contributions, and emphasized Hindu kingdoms.

16. Right-wing Pakistani parties have influenced Pakistani textbooks as a means of indoctrination against Hindus.

17. Roots of anger still lie in the way the partition was carried out in 1947.

18. Nehru pledged plebiscite in Kashmir, but then went back on it.

19. Pakistan's President Ayub miscalculated by sending troops into Indian Kashmir. India responded by crossng the international border into Pakistan. The war ended with no gains for either side.

20. Siachin remains the highest battlefield.

21. Shockwaves sent across the world by nuclear tests by both nations in 1998.

22. Pakistan's Kargil intrusion was a disaster, with major casualties on both sides.

23. Nawaz Sharif's decision to pull out of Kargil as seen as a humiliation for Pakistan. Pakistan military soon forced Sharif out, and Gen Musharraf took control.

24. Military again dominated life in Pakistan in all matters, including civilian governance.

25. In 2001, Kashmiri militants attacked Indian parliament, and India responded by massing troops on Pakistani border, as the two nations came close to war.

26. India has been brutal in suppressing minorities, denying even the basic rights to them in Kashmir and elsewhere.

27. Creation of Bangladesh has shown that Islam is not enough to bind Pakistanis together into a nation.

28. Many Kashmiris want independence from both India and Pakistan. Neither Pakistan nor India accept the idea of an independent Kashmir.

Hoodbhoy's video is a rather long 46-minute presentation requiring patience, but I found the video to be the most honest account of the Kashmir problem which is surrounded by all kinds of misinformation, disinformation and spin from all sides. Hoodbhoy puts it in historical context, shows the cynical role of the politicians and extremists on both sides, and talks about the realities of the Kashmir tragedy as it affects both Kashmiri Muslims and Hindu pandits who have been dispossessed and dispersed, and how it has led to the radicalization of the populations on both sides.

The footage of late Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's pledge of the plebiscite to the people of Kashmir to decide their own fate can be seen and heard about 23 minutes into the 46 minute video.

I recommend this video to any one interested in understanding the Kashmir issue in depth and how it has drastically polarized the people South Asia.



Video Copyright Eqbal Ahmad Foundation, 2004.

The continued Indian occupation of Kashmir is neither legal nor moral. It's illegal because it violates security council resolutions 47(1948) of 21 April, 1948, 51(1948) of 3 June, 1948, 80 (1950) of 14 March, 1950 and 91(1951) of 30 March, 1951, that are binding on all UN member nations. It's immoral because it breaks repeated pledges to the people of Kashmir in late 40s and early 50s by Indian prime minister and various Indian officials.

As Hoodbhoy points out in the video, Kashmir has become the cause celebre for the radicals on both sides of the border and threatens the future of all of South Asia. Settling Kashmir is crucial to defeat the extremists and bring some normalcy to relations between India and Pakistan that could eventually lead to a regional SAARC common market greatly benefiting all of South Asia.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Nehru's Speeches on Kashmir

Nehru's Pledges on Kashmir

Obama's South Asia Policy

Military Occupation of Kashmir

Bruce Riedel Interview

Clues to Obama's South Asia Policy

Hoodbhoy on India

Obama's Afghan Exit Strategy

Kashmir Erupts Again

Chinese Do Good and Do Well

China's Checkbook Diplomacy

US Dalliance With Beijing

Obama's Retreat on Mid East and South Asia

Kashmir Holds Key to Peace in South Asia

President Musharraf's Legacy

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know why Pakistanis don't understand that India as a matter of state policy DOES NOT want a solution to Kashmir,because:

1.It perpetually makes Pakistan spend ruinous amounts on defence(currently 2.5 times India as % of GDP terms) thus preventing any sustainable investment in long term to wean it of IMF/foreign aid permanantly.

2.No one is pressurizing India the West considers India a bulwark against China,OIC countries want to sell India oil and Russia will always use its veto to block a UN resolution like it has several times in the past.

3.Kashmir is NOT effecting the Indian economy in any measurable way its set to grow at 9.7% this year.

India will never compromise in Kashmir and will continue with the status quo which is ruining Pakistani society from within.

Anonymous said...

I think Pakistan should concentrate on its own economy and society for the next 10-20 years instead of following 'do nothing' strategies which are packaged as 'give us kashmir and only then will we solve our OWN problems'
But as they say Pakistanis will never learn.

gunam said...

It is a waste of time with regard to kashmir as neither india nor pakistan can do anything. Any party in india will loose its political indentity if they speak on any compromise on kashmir.

It will have a huge impact on the internal stability of the country. Further india is not economically weak to get bullied by anybody including usa. USA can be bought over by india, if it does ten defence and retail deals is the current reality of usa.

India is strengthening its ties with isreal to learn the art of handling terrorism.

Pakistan will eternally blame india for bangladesh rather than looking inward of sabotaging the aspiration of rehman and bengali muslims.

Truth is that army gave surrender letter to india because, india threaten to hand over them pow to newly formed bangalesh army which was for the blood of pakistani army for their great service.

Finally it will be like another talk of nuclear disarmament.

Riaz Haq said...

gunam: "Further india is not economically weak to get bullied by anybody including usa. USA can be bought over by india, if it does ten defence and retail deals is the current reality of usa...."

Both India and Pakistan have much better uses for the funds they are allocating to war fighting capability.

Contrary to all your tall claims about India, the fact remains that India is a nation of mostly poor, hungry, illiterate and disease-ridden population that lacks even basic sanitation facilities.

Poverty, hunger, unsanitary or unsafe conditions and inadequate health care in South Asia's developing nations are exposing their citizens to high risk of a variety of diseases which may impact their intelligence. Every year, World Health Organization reports what it calls "Environmental Burden of Disease" in each country of the world in terms of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) per 1000 people and total number of deaths from diseases ranging from diarrhea and other infectious diseases to heart disease, road traffic injuries and different forms of cancer.

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) reported recently that hunger in India has grown over the last three years.

IFPRI said India's hunger index score has worsened over the last three years from 23.7 to 23.9 to 24.1 and its ranking moved from 66 to 65 to 67 on a list of 84 nations....while Pakistan's hunger index score has improved over the same period reported since 2008 from 21.7 (2008) to 21.0 (2009) to 19.1 (2010) and its ranking has risen from 61 to 58 to 52.

In the range of DALYs/1000 capita from 13 (lowest) to 289 (highest), WHO's latest data indicates that India is at 65 while Pakistan is slightly better at 58. In terms of total number of deaths per year from disease, India stands at 2.7 million deaths while Pakistani death toll is 318, 400 people. Among other South Asian nations, Afghanistan's DALYs/1000 is 255, Bangladesh 64 and Sri Lanka 61. By contrast, the DALYs/1000 figures are 14 for Singapore and 32 for China.

Looking at the situation in South Asia, it appears from the WHO data that Pakistan is doing a bit better than India in 12 out of 14 disease groups ranging from diarrhea to heart disease to intentional injuries, and it is equal for the remaining two (Malaria and Asthma).

gunam said...

@riaz

Practically it will not be possible for india to take it easy with pakistan with it experience.

Country has to be there to handle the poverty otherwise country will be a slave to somebody. I would like the country to be free and hungry than well fed and be a slave.

India is not keen on conflict with pakistan however pakistan has not left any option with india starting from 1947 immediately after partition.

Further india has done on its own without any great type of support from usa. It even survived the ban of america with difficulty.

Today before obama comes, there is a list of purchases that usa wants india to sign starting from defence deal to walmart. In fact the population and the current stage of india offers more opportunities for india and other countries including the developing countries.

gunam said...

@riaz

Further india is fine to loc to close the issues where as pakistan wants india to loose kashmir which i think no politician in the country will have the guts to do and face the country is the reality.

Further india survived with no wealth. However the ITES engine has given india the movement and on its own production to consumption.

It has not created hugh capacity and depend upon other countries as markets like china.

Riaz Haq said...

gunam: "Further india survived with no wealth. However the ITES engine has given india the movement and on its own production to consumption."

India has "survived" by accepting horrible living conditions and continuing hunger deaths of over 7000 people every day.

And ITES is more hype than reality in terms of employment and exports.

After agriculture, textile sector is the second largest employer in India, according to fiber2fashion.com :

The Textile Sector in India ranks next to Agriculture. Textile is one of India’s oldest industries and has a formidable presence in the national economy in as much as it contributes to about 14 per cent of manufacturing value-addition, accounts for around one-third of our gross export earnings and provides gainful employment to millions of people. The textile industry occupies a unique place in our country. One of the earliest to come into existence in India, it accounts for 14% of the total Industrial production, contributes to nearly 30% of the total exports and is the second largest employment generator after agriculture.

About 27% of India's foreign exchange earnings are on account of export of textiles and clothing alone. The textiles and clothing sector contributes about 14% to the industrial production and 3% to the gross domestic product of the country. Around 8% of the total excise revenue collection is contributed by the textile industry. So much so, the textile industry accounts for as large as 21% of the total employment generated in the economy. Around 35 million people are directly employed in the textile manufacturing activities. Indirect employment including the manpower engaged in agricultural based raw-material production like cotton and related trade and handling could be stated to be around another 60 million.


Here are excerpts from a NY Times report on how the situation is changing in Coimbatore, a big textile center in Tamil Nadu:

The clear losers of India’s currency approach right now are garment makers. From April to August, exports were down 6.4 percent from a year earlier in the $10 billion Indian clothing industry. Although it represents only about 1 percent of the nation’s economy, the garment industry is India’s largest employer after agriculture.

“All the other countries are protecting their currencies, so why are we not?” said Premal Udani, chairman of India’s Apparel Export Promotion Council.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line:
How do you pressurize a country?

Aid/Financial assistance

India doesn't mind free money but is not gonna stall for lack of aid.

Denial of military assistance

India is dependant on Russia and Israel on military tech and is by far their largest customer,they with similar issues in Palestine and Chechnya are sympathetic to the Indian viewpoint and actively assist India by using the Jewish lobby in the US to influence US policy and help out with the media management and use the UN veto to block any action on this front at the UN.

Basically Pakistan doesn't have much hope to internationalize the dispute for at least the next 10-15 years.

It should try to concentrate its meagre resources on its failing economy than doing silly things like procuring 200+ jets the 'balance India' this despite knowing full well that nuclear weapons preclude a full scale war.

Anonymous said...

'And ITES is more hype than reality in terms of employment and exports. '

It brings in $ 80 billion in direct revenue i.e export earnings.
Please explain how this is hype?

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "It brings in $ 80 billion in direct revenue i.e export earnings."

First, it's not $80 billion. It's at most $50 billion in 2010.

Nasscom said export revenues for the IT-BPO industry was likely to touch $49.7 billion this year. The domestic market is expected to witness 12% growth in 2009-10 to reach Rs 66,200 crore, according to Times of India.

Second, it remains a small contributor to overall employment, far less than agriculture and textiles which together account for more than half of total employment in India. ITES's impact is small for average Indians who continue to be poorer than the poorest sub-Saharan Africans, according to a recent report by Oxford's MPI report.

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "It should try to concentrate its meagre resources on its failing economy than doing silly things like procuring 200+ jets the 'balance India' this despite knowing full well that nuclear weapons preclude a full scale war."

Apparently, you haven't heard of Indian Army Chief Gen V.K. Singh's boast about surviving and fighting through nuclear war with Pakistan. With crazy Indian generals like VK Singh, Pakistan can not afford to relax.

gunam said...

Reality with regard to india. After independence there were only two class in india being the rich and the poor.

ITES enabled the spreading of income which created middle class. On an average 50 billion usd for the last 10 years is 500 billion usd. Even if it is assumed that the 40% was labour cost it mean 100 billion usd in the hands of middle class. At the rate of 44 per dollar, it tantamounts to 440000 crores in the hands of million of indian.

Today this money has created trickling effect of the labour cost going up or the purchasing power of consumer.

Today the world is looking at india as a market and nothing else. I feel that is the opportunity that was lost by pakistan as it had not created english speaking engineers in thousands.

I can feel it as i belong to a lower middle class who has seen the magic of ITES in our family

gunam said...

@riaz

Leave india to what it wants to do and pakistan can plan what it can do.

With regard to the isreali and russian support, i think today economy / market is as powerfull weapon as military power.

India need not spend money on the army is a great thought but with neighbours like china and pakistan i think india needs to beef up its military might, even if it requires spending money on weapons.

with regard to the singh's comments, india is actually experienced the proxy terror war of pakistan, sachien and kargil conflict which was started by pakistan by the confession of the pakistan army itself. So why must india keep quiet.

India can spend some percentage of its gdp for arms and that also creates employment in usa and gets a better standing with usa. I think it is a small price, india pays for both in terms of security and support of USA

Riaz Haq said...

gunam: "ITES enabled the spreading of income which created middle class. On an average 50 billion usd for the last 10 years is 500 billion usd. ...."

ITES has created 50 billionaires while India's middle class is one of the smallest in he region in terms of percent of population.

ITES jobs in India are mostly cyber coolie sweat shop jobs which employ a very small percent of India's urban population in one of the least urbanized nations.

Here are the details of income levels in India, Pakistan and China as reported by ADB:

Daily Income......$2-$4.......$4-$10........$10-$20.....Over $20

India...............20.45%......4.15%........0.45%........0.10%

Pakistan............32.94%......6.56%........0.62%........0.15%

China ..............33.97%......25.17%.......3.54%........0.68%

Pakistan has continued to offer much greater upward mobility to its citizens than neighboring India. Since 1990, China's middle class population has expanded by 61.4%, Pakistan's by 36.5% and India's by 12.8%.

Anonymous said...

First, it's not $80 billion. It's at most $50 billion in 2010

$50 billion is export revenue
+10-20 billion FDI/FII in ITES think foreign firms buying shares of Infosys,Wipro,TCS etc
+10-15 billion personal remitances from IT related people currently on temporary projects in foreign countries on business/workvisa.

=$75-80 billion of foreign inflow into India due to ITES.

This goes a long long way in covering the trade gap and enabling Indian companies to purchase advanced Capital goods from Germany USA etc etc

Today:

exports(services+goods)+remitances+FDI+FII>imports(goods+services)+outward investment by approx 60 billion USD overall which explains a $300 billion FX reserves stockpile in a country running a trade deficit.

This has a huge effect in terms of macro economic stability enabling high growth(9.7% this year) which gives the government resorces to tackle poverty independant of foreign aid.

That there are large gaps in India's poverty alleviation programs is obvious BUT India unlike Pakistan has the financial resources to support poverty reduction programs.

gunam said...

@RIAZ

Neither india nor any indian given a choice would want a conflict neither with china nor with pakistan.

But the unfortunate part is that life is never fair and india has learnt it the wrong way with both the neighbours.

There is a saying in hindi that once you have a hot milk, even you will blow twice before having butter milk is the stage of india.

Further if you watch the statement of mine in any comparision, i would stop with the comment whether india is doing well or not as that is my concern. That is where indians have work on it, inspite of all problems of democracy. India or indian donot expect the world to change but change themself to the world and survive to move further.

In fact some of your articles were eyes openers for people like me who were looking at certain part of education, when under five mortality is what we require to focus on. It is similar to the words of a vivekanda that never teach for empty stomach

Anonymous said...

With regard to the isreali and russian support, i think today economy / market is as powerfull weapon as military power.

No not really we need a good military Industrial complex yesterday.

So far:
Navy:Good should be completely self sufficient by 2015

Airforce: Average can build Su-30mki from raw materials in India (by contrast Pakistan only makes the metal airframe at Kamra for JF-17 a much less capable aircraft)
but many issues with LCA and sub systems still are making slow and steady progress.

Army:FAIL

The bafoons would have us import binoculars if they could even more shocking given that making a tank,artillery is far far simpler than making a fighter plane or nuclear submarine.

Some serious thinking including involving big private companies like TATA,Mahindra,L&T is required to solve this problem but I think the political will is there.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, you haven't heard of Indian Army Chief Gen V.K. Singh's boast about surviving and fighting through nuclear war with Pakistan. With crazy Indian generals like VK Singh, Pakistan can not afford to relax.

Please don't and continue spending 3 times as much as India (% of GDP) on defence and ruin your economy USSR style.Nothing will make the hawks in Delhi happier.

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "This goes a long long way in covering the trade gap and enabling Indian companies to purchase advanced Capital goods from Germany USA etc etc"

It still leaves a huge and growing trade deficit.

India is continuing to run large current account and trade deficits. India's trade deficit was an estimated $86.6 billion in April- January 2009-2010, according to media reports. The Reserve Bank of India said the nation's current account deficit widened to $29.8 billion in fiscal 2009, compared with a deficit of $17 billion in prior year.

The nation’s capital account continued to be negative for the second quarter in a row. The gauge of investment flows into and out of the country showed a shortfall of $4.44 billion in the three months to 31 March, compared with a net inflow of $26.5 billion a year earlier, RBI said.

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "No not really we need a good military Industrial complex yesterday."

India should stop dreaming about it and first take care of is population known to be the world's largest in terms of poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, unsanitary conditions etc.

Unlike China, India lacks the necessary industrial and manufacturing base for greater self reliance in infrastructure equipment and defense armaments. India also runs large current account deficits while China is enjoying large surpluses strengthening its economic position in the world.

India is overwhelmingly dependent on foreign imports, mainly Russian and Israeli, for about 70 per cent of its defense requirement, especially for critical military products and high-end defense technology, according to an Indian defense analyst Dinesh Kumar. Kumar adds that "India’s defense ministry officially admits to attaining only 30 to 35 per cent self-reliance capability for its defense requirement. But even this figure is suspect given that India’s self-reliance mostly accrues from transfer of technology, license production and foreign consultancy despite considerable investment in time and money".

On the same theme, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that "India has had little success with military equipment production, and has had problems producing Russian Su-30MKI fighter jets and T-90S tanks, English Hawk training jets and French Scorpene submarines."

On India's perennial dependence on imports, here's how blogger Vijainder Thakur sees India's loose meaning of "indigenous" Smerch and other imports:

"The Russians will come here set up the plant for us and supply the critical manufacturing machinery. Indian labor and technical management will run the plant which will simply assemble the system. Critical components and the solid propellant rocket motor fuel will still come from Perm Powder Mill. However, bureaucrats in New Delhi and the nation as a whole will be happy. The Smerch system will be proudly paraded on Rajpath every republic day as an indigenous weapon system.

A decade or so down the line, Smerch will get outdated and India will negotiate a new deal with Russia for the license production of a new multiple rocket system for the Indian Army.

China will by then have developed its own follow up system besides having used the solid propellant motors to develop other weapon systems and assist its space research program."

India does export some armaments but its modest record of producing and exporting weapon systems is evident from the fact that India’s defense annual exports averaged only US$ 88 million between 2006-07 and 2008-09. By contrast, Pakistan exported $300 million worth of military hardware and munitions last year.

Anonymous said...

'It still leaves a huge and growing trade deficit.'

True trade deficit is a concern no doubt but by far the biggest line item in the trade deficit is capital investment goods which will be used to dramatically increase exports in the next 5 years especialy given the rising yuan and FTA that we have recently signed with EU and Japan.

India's investment/GDP ratio is 40% which in turn explains 9.7% GDP growth this year.

Also the net flow of funds is positive(as explained above) and we have $300 billion reserves to tide over the occcasional quarters where its negative.

There is a reason why Fitch,Moody's etc considers India 'investment grade'

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "Please don't and continue spending 3 times as much as India (% of GDP) on defence and ruin your economy USSR style.Nothing will make the hawks in Delhi happier."

This is just false Indian propaganda. India in reality spends more than 3% of its GDP....comparable to what Pak spends as percent of its GDP.

Here's how Indian defense analyst Col Pavan Nair explains it in his guest post Guns versus Bread on this blog:

"Indian DE for 2007 at 2.5% of GDP is much higher than this figure. Current spending is at 3.15%. At current market rates, India is at number ten in the list whereas at PPP rates, India is at number four which is in keeping with the fact that it has the third largest army, the fourth largest air force and a blue water navy. India’s DE for 2008 is 90 billion dollars at PPP rates and is touching 115 billion dollars in the current year."

Since 2007, Indian defense budget has increase about 40%.

gunam said...

http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Content/docs/F0910IE453SBPST.xls

service is 53 usd for a quarter totaling to 200 bn dollar per annum which is moving in the hands of common man

gunam said...

India is trade deficit is well known and has not gone to alarming level. On the contrary india capital is flowing enough to handle problem. Further. Cash flow is high which is pushing up currency

Anonymous said...

Ok so Riaz basically what your saying is that you expect India to from a position of strength cede ground on Kashmir?

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "expect India to from a position of strength cede ground on Kashmir? "

India's position is weak vis-a-vis the people of Kashmir who want nothing to do with India....and the whole world can see it.

Anonymous said...

India's position is weak vis-a-vis the people of Kashmir who want nothing to do with India....and the whole world can see it.

A few hired stone throwers and slogan shouters don't represent the people of Kashmir.

Kashmir's demographics are:

Hindu and Buddhist(i.e Ladhak and Jammu) want to be part of India=40%

Shia Kashmiri muslims would any day prefer India over Pakistan(there has not been ONE SINGLE demostration against Indian rule in Kargil,drass and other shia majority districts of Kashmir for the past 60 years)=25%.The last time Pakistan tried to 'liberate' Kashmir in 1965 it got ZERO support from the local shia populations.

That leaves a very noisy Sunni Kashmiri minority=35% mostly centred around Srinagar where all the sloganeering takes place.

The above split is the reason Shia Iran ALWAYS votes against Pakistan at OIC resolutions in Kashmir and shias are completely absent from the hurriyat conference and other separatist groups.

In any case if Pakistanis still want to bleed themselves dry economically chasing fantasies of Kashmir as a part of Pakistan that suits most right wing Indians perfectly well.

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "That leaves a very noisy Sunni Kashmiri minority=35% mostly centred around Srinagar where all the sloganeering takes place. "

If you are so sure that only the 35% sunni population in Kashmir wants freedom, why don't you support a referendum to show it to the world? That should settle the issue.

Anonymous said...

If you are so sure that only the 35% sunni population in Kashmir wants freedom, why don't you support a referendum to show it to the world?

First of all I don't represent the India government but I think the logic is:

1.Precedent:Why create a precedent by which every troubled region particularly the NE to demand referendum.

2.Involving external parties in your internal politics is never a good idea.I mean just look at Pakistan.

3.It strategically serves us to keep Pakistan bleeding and pinned on the Kashmir front to preclude it from ever emerging as an economic rival.Our economy can keep growing at near 10% even with Kashmir due to the size ,Pakistan's can't in a sustainable fashion i.e the hawks do not want to settle Kashmir.

anoop said...

@Riaz,

"If you are so sure that only the 35% sunni population in Kashmir wants freedom, why don't you support a referendum to show it to the world? That should settle the issue."

Your reply to Anonymous(November 3, 2010 10:33 PM).

Its not about he or any one guy allowing a referendum ,its the whole of India, its about the Constitution, its about the precedence it will set, its about stability of India, its about the status of the 150+ million Muslims in India, its about the Supreme Court of India allowing this,etc..

So, its just not a simple thing to do.

No power in history, which was as stable as India is, or as economically self-reliant as India is, or military as resilient as India is has voluntarily given up a patch of neighbouring land filled with precious resources to a any country or given the option of freedom under any circumstances. The History is against you or anyone calling for Freedom or Pakistani control over Kashmir.

Musharaff, whom you are respect tremendously, when he started he wanted Kashmir at any cost, even through military means(Kargi misadventure). By the end of his term he had come to realize this very fact that there was no chance in hell that Pakistan would get control of the Territory or Kashmiris would get self-rule(As Kashmir is a land-locked country and it has to rely on either Pakistan or India, not both).

He started to make the best of the situation which has kept Pakistan morally,economically and politically bankrupt. He said, "lets make the borders irrelavent or 'soft' borders'".

Basically he was dressing up India's traditional stand as Pakistan's victory and Kashmiri's victory.

Soft Borders? lol.. Yeah right.

That is the reason I want, like you, Musharaff back in power. That almost completed agreement will come back on the discussion table.

Riaz Haq said...

anoop: "Its not about he or any one guy allowing a referendum ,its the whole of India, its about the Constitution, its about the precedence it will set..."

International obligations of UN nations are treaty obligations that trump whatever constitution ad laws you make up after the fact.

Indian PM Nehru accepted the UN resolution and made a pledge to Kashmiris and the international community well before your constitution became reality.

Under international law and basic rules of morality, the Indian occupation of Kashmir, described by Arundhati Roy as "one of the most brutal military occupations in the world", the position you now state is neither legal nor moral.

Anonymous said...

That is the reason I want, like you, Musharaff back in power. That almost completed agreement will come back on the discussion table.

Nope Musharaff was a freak of history.Pakistanis usually are not a cerebral people he was which was very bad news for us.

Let us understand that PAkistan is and always will be an enemy country its identity is anti Indian.

I would like our enemy to be an angry,impotent,inconsequential country which it is well on its way to become.

The Kashmir problem is Pakistan's road to ruin lets keep it wide open.

Anonymous said...

International obligations of UN nations are treaty obligations that trump whatever constitution ad laws you make up after the fact.


They are under the unenforceable sections of the UN charter.Besides no one of the P5 not even China has pressurized us to have a referrendum.

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "They are under the unenforceable sections of the UN charter."

What nonsense! UN Security Council resolutions are binding upon each nation...they are not mere suggestions.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a piece by Eric Margolis on US-India ties titled "Welcome to India, Obama Sahib":

While the western media fulminates against Taliban’s or Iran’s treatment of women, a leading British medical journal reports an estimated 40,000 Indian women are burned alive each year by their in-laws to grab their dowries. Infanticide of female children is endemic. But few in the west seem to care.
India is a giant with feet of clay. A senior western diplomat in unhealthy Delhi told me that at any given time, half his staff is ill with serious maladies. India is plagued by grave health and environmental problems.
India is really two nations: modern, dynamic, high-tech urban India of about 100 million, and antique, timeless rural Mother India of 1.1 billion souls.
To China’s annoyance, President Obama proclaimed in Delhi that India should have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. India is becoming a great power and deserves a seat among the world’s big boys. But so do Germany, Japan, Turkey and Brazil.

India and its people, long disparaged by British racist jokes, are delighted to be called equals by the great powers. In fact, nuclear-armed India sees itself very much as regional hegemon of the entire Indian Ocean extending from East Africa to Australia.

The Bush administration’s deal with Delhi to sanctify and facilitate India’s nuclear weapons programs was thought at the time a clever move. But it dismayed the rest of the world, made a mockery of non-proliferation, and outraged the entire Muslim world, which has been blasting the US for hypocrisy by threatening war against Iran, which is under UN nuclear inspection, while playing nuclear footsie with India, which rejected all UN inspection.

India’s leaders are no fools and will not be easily pushed or bribed into a stronger anti-China and anti-Iran stance by Washington – Delhi maintains cool but correct relations with Beijing, but behind the wintry, trans-Himalayan smiles lies growing rivalry over Chinese-occupied Tibet, Indian-ruled Ladakh and Kashmir, their long, poorly demarcated Himalayan border (another gift of the British Empire), strategic Burma, and their intensifying nuclear and naval rivalry.

India claims China is trying to surround it, using Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Burma. The two Asian superpowers have been locked in a strategic and conventional arms race for a decade. In 1999, this writer postulated that the two giants would one day clash over their contested borders.

India will follow its own strategic and diplomatic interests – which are not synonymous with those of the United States.

Delhi has a long record of clever diplomacy that has isolated Pakistan and kept the world and UN out of the burning Kashmir problem, where 40,000–80,000 Kashmiris have died in a long independence struggle against Indian rule.

But the United States is now slowly being drawn into the dangerous Kashmir dispute – which triggered the 2008 terror bombing in Mumbai. Just look for example at the embarrassing revelations that one of the men involved in the 2008 Mumbai massacre was working for the US Drug Enforcement Agency.

The more Washington backs and arms India, the more its relations with China will deteriorate. Japan is also quietly building up India against China, to Beijing’s mounting anger.

The US could even be drawn into an India-China regional conflict. So caution is advised to US diplomats as they charge into the murky, tangled, poorly understood geopolitics of South and East Asia.

We also wonder if President Obama was briefed on India’s growing strategic arsenal.Delhi already has enough medium-ranged Agni-series missiles to cover potential foe China. Why then is Delhi spending billions to develop a reported 12,000 km ICBM whose only targets could be North America, Europe or Australia? ..

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent Times of India report about wikileaks regarding Pakistan:


WASHINGTON/NEW DELHI: Many of the cables in the first lot of Wikileaks' expose of intricate and dodgy U.S foreign policy pertains to Pakistan, a country variously described as a "nightmare" and a "headache" for the international community. The cables do not paint a flattering picture of Islamabad or its rulers.

For instance, one cable has the Saudi King Abdullah speak contemptuously of President Zardari. He calls Zardari the greatest obstacle to that country's progress and is quoted as saying "When the head is rotten, it affects the whole body."

Another cable describes a "dangerous standoff" with Pakistan over nuclear fuel: In May 2009, U.S Ambassador to Islamabad Anne Patterson reported that Pakistan was refusing to schedule a visit by American technical experts because, as a Pakistani official said, "if the local media got word of the fuel removal, "they certainly would portray it as the United States taking Pakistan's nuclear weapons."

Implicit in the cable is the suggestion of a see-saw battle between Washington and Islamabad about Pakistan's nuclear assets and its safety.

Some of the cables highlight Israel's concern with where Pakistan is going. In one exchange, Mossad chief Meir Dagan and U.S counterterrorism honcho Frances Townsend share concerns about Pakistan's ability to withstand the challenge of Islamic radicals. Dagan characterizes a Pakistan ruled by radical Islamists with a nuclear arsenal at their disposal as his biggest nightmare. Al-Qaeda and other "Global Jihad" groups could not be relied upon to behave rationally once in possession of nuclear weapons, he says, as they do not care about the well being of states or their image in the media.

"We have to keep (President Pervez) Musharaf in power," he is quoted as saying.

In another exchange, Israel's President Ehud Barak describes Pakistan as his "private nightmare," suggesting the world might wake up one morning "with everything changed" following a potential Islamic extremist takeover. When asked if the use of force on Iran might backfire with moderate Muslims in Pakistan, thereby exacerbating the situation, Barak acknowledges Iran and Pakistan are interconnected, but disagreed with a causal chain.

Exchanges between the U.S and Turkey also show Pakistan's continuing fears about India's presence in Afghanistan. At a meeting with U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, William Burns, Turkish diplomat Rauf Engin Soysal, who then was the Turkey's Deputy Under-Secretary for Bilateral Political Affairs responsible for the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, discloses that Turkey had not invited India to the Afghan neighbors' summit in deference to Pak sensitivities.

"He (Soysal) said Turkey had not invited India to the neighbors summit in deference to Pakistani sensitivities; however, he claimed, Pakistan understands attempting to exclude India from the nascent South Asian regional structures would be a mistake," says the confidential State Department cable dated February 25, 2010.

While Pakistan's reservations to India's presence at the meeting was known, its assessment that excluding India from regional structures would be a mistake is a disclosure that will be well-received in New Delhi.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is a Christian Science Monitor report on wikileaks early reaction in Pakistan:

Long derided in liberal Pakistani circles as a fanciful conspiracy theory, the notion that the US has designs on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal will likely gain traction here following a report that the US has mounted a secret effort to remove highly enriched uranium from a Pakistani reactor since 2007....
The perception that America is attempting to rob Pakistan of its nuclear capability has long been touted by Islamists and hardliners in Pakistan, and is frequently brought up alongside the theory that the security firm Xe (formerly known as Blackwater) is responsible for a spate of suicide bomb attacks on civilian targets over the past few years. The US, for its part, has been keenly aware of the sensitivity of the issue, so much so that in May 2009, Ambassador Anne Patterson reported that Pakistan was refusing to schedule a visit by American technical experts for fear of stoking the Pakistani media’s suspicions.

According to security analyst Gen. (ret.) Talat Masood, the WikiLeaks revelations will prove a boon to hardliners in Pakistan.

“It really reinforces [what until now] has been a conspiracy theory – that America has always been after nuclear assets and gives a big handle to the right and those who have been saying America is not a our friend and saying they are following a dual policy: with India they are friends but with Pakistan they are trying to simultaneously undermine us.”

General Masood predicts the WikiLeaks cable report will have a serious short-term and long-term impact on US-Pakistan relations, and undermine those Pakistanis who have spoken up in favor of closer cooperation with the US in recent times.

“It places such people on the defensive – it looks like the US is trying to get close to Pakistanis who are more Westernized but who are compromising Pakistan’s national interest,” he says.

According to Pervez Hoodbhoy, an eminent Pakistani nuclear physicist based at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, the report probably refers to the highly enriched uranium Pakistan received from the US in the late 1960s as part of the "Atoms for Peace" program, before its weapons program began.

“As far as I can guess, the leak refers to highly enriched uranium that Pakistan received from the US in the late 1960's or early 1970s for running the small 5-mw research reactor at PINSTECH,” he says, in reference to a research center based close to Islamabad that is aimed at producing atomic energy. “There is no other reactor in Pakistan that runs on HEU. I suppose that the US wants it back because of fears that Al Qaeda might get its hands on it somehow.”

Pakistan gained its own nuclear enriching capability in 1976, therefore the removal of some highly enriched uranium by the United States would not eliminate its ability to create nuclear weapons.

Attempt to create misperceptions?
Separate WikiLeaks cables concerning Pakistani politicians could also prove embarrassing to its allies.

In one cable, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia derides President Asif Ali Zardari as the biggest hurdle to progress, stating, “When the head is rotten, it affects the whole body.”

President Zardari however received a tepid lukewarm "endorsement" from Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, "Zardarni [sic] is dirty but not dangerous," while… Sharif is “dangerous but not dirty – this is Pakistan. Sharif cannot be trusted to honor his promises,” a reference to Pakistan’s foremost opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif.

Farhatullah Babar, the president’s spokesman, said via text message that “President Zardari regards Saudi King Abdullah as his elder brother. The so called leaks are no more than an attempt to create misperceptions between two important and brotherly Muslim countries.”

Anonymous said...

Now that we are reaching some kind consensus about human capability to 'trigger' rather than cause earthquakes, let us forget science for a while and focus on utility of such a capability as an offensive weapon. The triggering of earthquake requires:

1. Knowledge of such hot-spots

2. Knowledge that these hot-spots are primed for triggering

The limitation of this capability as a weapon is that a) we cannot choose just any point to strike b) time it to our strategic convenience.

Question arises - when we have powerful nuclear devices to wreak same or worse damage at a point and in a time of our strategic convenience, why would anyone want to spend money to acquire such capability? One answer could be to wreak havoc in enemy territory without his knowing who is responsible for it. This doesn’t seem very plausible as such things do not remain secret for long.

On the other hand do we realize the significance of such a capability? It could mean saving lives of millions by timing an earthquake!
So you decide if there is research going on to acquire such a capability then whether it is for military purpose of for peaceful purpose.

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "Question arises - when we have powerful nuclear devices to wreak same or worse damage at a point and in a time of our strategic convenience, why would anyone want to spend money to acquire such capability?"

First, I expect there to be a whole new generation of weapons coming out by mid-century from the research being done now at advanced US weapons labs in collaboation with academia. Such weapons, including space-based weapons, will be very different in terms of the mechanisms they use and the kind of extraordinay but targeted damage they cause without the "enemy" having any clue of what hit them and from where they got hit.


Second, the new generation of weapons will avoid the kind of widespread fall-out on "friendly" nations in the "enemy" neighborhood that results from thermonuclear explosions.


Some analysts, like George Fiedman of Statfor (Next 100 Years), have explored the nature of high-tech warfare that will determine the outcome of WW III they anticipate in this century.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Fox News report on a new book alleging Indian agents killed foreign tourists in Kashmir:

A state human rights commission said Tuesday it will review records from the 1995 kidnapping of six foreigners in Indian-controlled Kashmir after a new book alleged that Indian intelligence agents were involved in the deadly crime.

The six tourists were trekking in a Himalayan meadow when they were kidnapped by a previously unknown militant group named Al-Faran. One American escaped, but the body of a Norwegian was later found in a remote village. Another American, a German and two Britons were never located.

India said the kidnappers were backed by Pakistan, and that some disappeared after the crime while others were killed in gunbattles with Indian troops.

However, authors Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clarke suggest in a recently published book, "The Meadow: Kashmir 1995 — Where the Terror Began," that the Indian government deliberately undermined hostage negotiations and prolonged the crisis to damage Pakistan's reputation, and then used its own militants to take custody of the hostages before they were killed.

The Jammu-Kashmir State Human Rights Commission asked Tuesday for reports about the 17-year-old case from government and police authorities. Commission Secretary Tariq Ahmad Banday said it is also seeking access to two officers who were part of the original investigation.

The commission will discuss the case at its next meeting May 28, after being asked to look into it by a local rights group, the International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice.

The group called for an inquiry into "why no action was taken on various points ... despite the authorities having knowledge of the location of the hostages, and then subsequently the burial site of the hostages."


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/04/17/kashmir-revisits-5-case-foreigners-abduction/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Guardian piece by Indian journalist Pankaj Mishra on India's military occupation of Kashmir:

Once known for its extraordinary beauty, the valley of Kashmir now hosts the biggest, bloodiest and also the most obscure military occupation in the world. With more than 80,000 people dead in an anti-India insurgency backed by Pakistan, the killings fields of Kashmir dwarf those of Palestine and Tibet. In addition to the everyday regime of arbitrary arrests, curfews, raids, and checkpoints enforced by nearly 700,000 Indian soldiers, the valley's 4 million Muslims are exposed to extra-judicial execution, rape and torture, with such barbaric variations as live electric wires inserted into penises.

Why then does the immense human suffering of Kashmir occupy such an imperceptible place in our moral imagination? After all, the Kashmiris demanding release from the degradations of military rule couldn't be louder and clearer. India has contained the insurgency provoked in 1989 by its rigged elections and massacres of protestors. The hundreds of thousands of demonstrators that fill the streets of Kashmir's cities today are overwhelmingly young, many in their teens, and armed with nothing more lethal than stones. Yet the Indian state seems determined to strangle their voices as it did of the old one. Already this summer, soldiers have shot dead more than 50 protestors, most of them teenagers.

The New York Times this week described the protests as a comprehensive"intifada-like popular revolt". They indeed have a broader mass base than the Green Movement does in Iran. But no colour-coded revolution is heralded in Kashmir by western commentators. The BBC and CNN don't endlessly loop clips of little children being shot in the head by Indian soldiers. Bloggers and tweeters in the west fail to keep a virtual vigil by the side of the dead and the wounded. No sooner than his office issued it last week, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, hastened to retract a feeble statement expressing concern over the situation in Kashmir.

Kashmiri Muslims are understandably bitter. As Parvaiz Bukhari, a journalist, said early this week the stones flung randomly by protestors have become "the voice of a neglected people" convinced that the world deliberately ignores their plight. The veteran Kashmiri journalist Masood Hussain confessed to the near-total futility of his painstaking auditing of atrocity over two decades. For Kashmir has turned out to be a "great suppression story".
--------
As the Kashmiri writer Basharat Peer wrote this week in a moving Letter to an Unknown Indian, Indian journalists might edit out the "faces of the murdered boys", and "their grieving fathers"; they may not show "the video of a woman in Anantnag, washing the blood of the boys who were killed outside her house". But "Kashmir sees the unedited Kashmir."

And it remembers. "Like many other Kashmiris," Peer writes, "I have been in silence, committing to memory the deed, the date." Apart from the youth on the streets, there are also those with their noses in books, or pressed against window bars. Soon this generation will make its way into the world with its private traumas. Life under political oppression has begun to yield, in the slow bitter way it does, a rich intellectual and artistic harvest: Peer's memoir Curfewed Night will be followed early next year by a novel by Waheed Mirza. There are more works to come; Kashmiris will increasingly speak for themselves. One can only hope that their voices will finally penetrate our indifference and even occasionally prick our conscience.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2010/aug/14/silence-over-kashmir-conflict

Riaz Haq said...

NY Times: "Many analysts say that India is unlikely to achieve prominence on the world stage until it reaches some sort of resolution with Pakistan of disputes that have lasted for decades over Kashmir and other issues."

Here's NY Times on India's growing troubles:

...a summer of difficulties has dented India’s confidence, and a growing chorus of critics is starting to ask whether India’s rise may take years, and perhaps decades, longer than many had hoped.

“There is a growing sense of desperation out there, particularly among the young,” said Ramachandra Guha, one of India’s leading historians.

Three events last week crystallized those new worries. On Wednesday, one of India’s most advanced submarines, the Sindhurakshak, exploded and sank at its berth in Mumbai, almost certainly killing 18 of the 21 sailors on its night watch.

On Friday, a top Indian general announced that India had killed 28 people in recent weeks in and around the Line of Control in Kashmir as part of the worst fighting between India and Pakistan since a 2003 cease-fire.

Also Friday, the Sensex, the Indian stock index, plunged nearly 4 percent, while the value of the rupee continued to fall, reaching just under 62 rupees per dollar, a record low.

Each event was unrelated to the others, but together they paint a picture of a country that is rapidly losing its swagger. India’s growing economic worries are perhaps its most challenging.

“India is now the sick man of Asia,” said Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at the financial information provider IHS Global Insight. “They are in a crisis.”

---.

The Indian government recently loosened restrictions on direct foreign investment, expecting a number of major retailers like Walmart and other companies to come rushing in. The companies have instead stayed away, worried not only by the government’s constant policy changes but also by the widespread and endemic corruption in Indian society.

The government has followed with a series of increasingly desperate policy announcements in recent weeks in hopes of turning things around, including an increase in import duties on gold and silver and attempts to defend the currency without raising interest rates too high.

Then Wednesday night, the government announced measures to restrict the amounts that individuals and local companies could invest overseas without seeking approval. It was an astonishing move in a country where a growing number of companies have global operations and ambitions.
---------
The submarine explosion revealed once again the vast strategic challenges that the Indian military faces and how far behind China it has fallen. India still relies on Russia for more than 60 percent of its defense equipment needs, and its army, air force and navy have vital Russian equipment that is often decades old and of increasingly poor quality.

The Sindhurakshak is one of 10 Russian-made Kilo-class submarines that India has as part of its front-line maritime defenses, but only six of India’s submarines are operational at any given time — far fewer than are needed to protect the nation’s vast coastline.

Indeed, India has fewer than 100 ships, compared with China’s 260. India is the world’s largest weapons importer, but with its economy under stress and foreign currency reserves increasingly precious, that level of purchases will be increasingly hard to sustain.

The country’s efforts to build its own weapons have largely been disastrous, and a growing number of corruption scandals have tainted its foreign purchases, including a recent deal to buy helicopters from Italy.

Unable to build or buy, India is becoming dangerously short of vital defense equipment, analysts say....

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/19/business/global/a-summer-of-troubles-saps-indias-confidence.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a piece by Ananya Vajpeyi on exceptions to Indian "constitutional democracy":

By enforcing extraordinary laws, by sending in armed forces, by granting impunity to soldiers and paramilitaries for their actions against armed or unarmed civilians, by denying citizens redress, justice or compensation, by creating a war-like situation for a population that has political, social, cultural and economic grievances possible to address without force, it is the state that sets aside the Constitution. The Indian state has done this too many times, in too many places, and for too long.

It is time for citizens in the so-called ‘normal’ parts of the country to consider how they want to defend their Constitution against such misuse and ill-treatment by the state, a procedure that leaves millions of people exposed to both everyday as well as excessive violence, and ultimately turns them against India. If the Indian Union sees any attrition to its territory in the coming years on account of separatism and civil strife (not such an unlikely scenario as hawkish policy-makers like to believe), this will have come to pass at least partly because the state allowed the cancer of exception to eat away at the body politic, and did not administer the medicine of constitutional reinstatement and restitution in time. It bears repeating that periodic exercises in the electoral process do not always prove to be a sufficient counterweight to the toxic effects of the AFSPA, even if elections are relatively free and fair (a tough challenge), and even if significant percentages of the relevant populations do turn out to vote.

The state’s reasoning for why military, paramilitary and police must replace civil agencies in the work of everyday governance, a step which can and does go horribly wrong, is that disruptive violence (from secessionist and insurgent groups) has to be met with restorative counter-violence (from the state) in order to ensure overall security for the population, and preserve the integrity of the Union of India. Defenders of the AFSPA insist that this is a sound rationale. But inevitably, questions arise: What are the limits of the immunity that such an extraordinary law grants to the armed forces, when does the justifiable control of terror become overkill, and when should a quantitative assessment about the necessary degree of force give way to a qualitative judgment about whether force is necessary at all, over and above alternative – peaceful – means of addressing the situation?

There appears to be a dire need for a system of checks-and-balances, perhaps also originating from the Constitution, to be instituted, so that the explicitly democratic mandate of the Indian republic may be strengthened against an always lurking authoritarian tendency (a legacy of the post-colonial state’s colonialist and imperialist predecessor).

http://udayprakash05.blogspot.com/2010/11/why-people-of-india-are-skeptical.html

Riaz Haq said...

Dozens of Muslim students from the disputed Indian territory of Kashmir were expelled from their university and briefly threatened with sedition charges because they cheered for the Pakistani cricket team during a televised match against archrival India, police said Thursday, while the Indian state's elected leader called for leniency.

Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of northern Uttar Pradesh state, said he told state officials that such a serious charge as sedition, which carries a possible life sentence, should be not be used because the students probably didn't understand the gravity of their actions.

State Home Secretary A.K.Gupta said plans to impose the sedition charges were dropped late Thursday.

Yadav's statement in an interview with the New Delhi Television news channel came amid widespread outrage over the students' expulsion in the Indian portion of Kashmir, a divided Himalayan territory that both countries claim.

Earlier Thursday, authorities tried to track down the 66 students for questioning to determine whether sedition charges were appropriate, police officer N.K.S. Chauhan said.

Love of cricket - a legacy of Britain's long colonial role of South Asia - is one of the few things that unites Pakistan and India, despite a long history of animosity that has fueled three wars since the subcontinent's bloody partition in 1947.

But the fracas over Sunday's match - which Pakistan won - shows how easily passions are inflamed over predominantly Muslim Kashmir. Insurgents have been fighting for Kashmir's independence or its merger with Pakistan since 1989.

Several of the students said their expulsion was discrimination.

"We didn't do anything illegal," said Muteebul Majid, a business administration student in his 20s. "Are they slapping these charges against us for being Kashmiris or for cheering for the Pakistani team?"

Like several other students who spoke to the media Thursday, Majid had returned to his home in Srinagar, the main city in India-controlled Kashmir, after leaving school.

Gulzar Ahmed, also a business administration student, said he and his friends were never given a chance to explain themselves.

"They (local students) attacked us with stones and abuse after the match. Instead of taking action against their hooliganism, police bused us to the railway station and directed us to go home," Ahmed said.

The students had been living in the dorms at the private College of Swami Vivekanand Subharti University, in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh state, about 560 miles (900 kilometers) from their homes in Kashmir.

Calls to the school were not immediately returned.

The students' cheers for Pakistan would not have raised any alarms in Kashmir. Minutes after Pakistan won the close match, hundreds of Kashmiris lit firecrackers and chanted "Long live Pakistan" and "We want freedom."

Omar Abdullah, the top elected official in the Indian portion of Kashmir, said sedition charges would ruin the students' future and further alienate them.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/india-question-kashmiris-cricket-cheering-22795652

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News report on Pak Army mobilizing to help Tharparkar victims:

To help the affected population in Mithi and Tharparker, relief teams of the Pakistan Army have reached the area and have setup a Field Hospital and are also providing Food Packs to the affected families.

According to an ISPR press release, Doctors and Paramedics have established a field hospital to provide healthcare to the malnourished and sick at Diplo. On the first day of the relief operation, 10 tons of relief items were distributed and a total of 613 patients were treated at the medical camp.

General Officer Commanding Hyderabad Garrison, Major General Inam is in the area to oversee the ongoing relief efforts.

Panu Aqil and Karachi garrisons are also gearing up to reinforce relief activities with the help of civil society. Relief camps will also be established at Mithi, Chachhro, Nangarparker, Islamkot and Khinsar. The support will continue till the time crisis situation is normalized.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-140421-Army-establish-field-hospital-in-drought-hit-Tharparkar